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Framing George Town

Posted by on Apr 6th, 2009
Filed Under: Featured, Penang, Photos

The colours, the people, the passion

My thoughts through the lens

All photos and texts by Calvin Kwok

Continuing on my previous photo essay on arches and archways of George Town, the focus this week is on using natural and available structures or objects to frame some of the many famous landmarks in George Town. In this essay, I also intend to depict the inhabitants of the city by offering a glimpse into their lives and cultures from the daily activities to snapshots of one of the most colourful celebrations in Malaysia, the Thaipusam festival.

On hindsight, the images were taken on blistering days and searching for frameworks to compose required not only passion but also lots of perspiration as well. Nevertheless, it was definitely worth the while. Here is my take on George Town; captured from different angles and most of all, the conventional and at times unconventional methods to frame the subjects. I hope you will see the city’s attractions with a new frame of mind and a renewed zest for all things Penang, as I had.

Penang Georgetown Chew Jetty
An elderly man stopping by at his neighbour’s wooden house at Chew Jetty, Weld Quay. The Jetty is the biggest of the waterfront settlements in George Town.

Penang Georgetown Indian Man
Hello, world: An Indian man about to have his morning shave when he saw me and smiled. Captured along a row of old houses in Market Street.

Penang Georgetown Masjid Kapitan Mosque
Framing its own: The Masjid Kapitan Keling Mosque peeked from the arch of its similar-shaped gate carving.

Penang Georgetown Weld Quay
Tanjung City Marina, Weld Quay. It is the country’s first inner city marina and strategically adjacent to the Penang ferry terminal.

Penang Georgetown Thaipusam
A multitude of colors seen from a devotee’s window-like kavadi on the eve of Thaipusam ’09. Image taken up-close and personal while the devotees were taking a short rest during the procession.

Penang Georgetown Thaipusam Strret Dance
A street dance seen from a low angle on the eve of Thaipusam ’09 near Market Street.

Penang Georgetown Masjid Kapitan Keling
In black and white: Masjid Kapitan Keling viewed from a jewellery shop’s roller blind to achieve the conventional ‘frame within a frame’ look.

Penang Georgetown Thaipusam Little Girl
Eye-catching: The little girl’s eyes remind me of an Indian goddess’. This shot was framed off a boy’s shoulders during Thaipusam procession.

Penang Georgetown Cobbler
A cobbler working amidst his wares in front of an old building’s walkway at inner George Town

Penang Georgetown Wisma Kastam
Royal Malaysian Customs (Wisma Kastam) with its reflection framed by a pool of water on the foreground. The Customs is located at Chinese Street Ghaut.

Penang Georgetown Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) seen from the doorway of Standard Chartered Bank at Beach Street. One of the oldest roads to be laid in George Town, it continues to play an important role as the main banking street of George Town

Malaysia Travel Guide Photographer

Born, bred and schooled within the vicinity of George Town; Penang has been my home for over twenty years. As a way of saying ‘Welcome to Penang’, I would like to share scenes of Penang with you from my perspective as a keen amateur photographer. More [+]

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10 Responses »

  1. Calvin,
    Really beautiful pictures! This definitely shows Penang Gerogetown in a very different way, aka much more personal! Well done, and be looking forward to more of “My thoughts through the lens” series.

    Grace, from Ipoh

  2. Thank you very much, Grace! It’s a pleasure documenting the places and especially the people of Penang at the heart of their beliefs and activities.

  3. Nice shot of Wisma Kastam with the reflection.

  4. Glad you like the shot, Thomas 🙂

  5. Calvin, my vote for Wisma Kastam! Love the reflection!

  6. Like the 1st picture too..the old uncle, good composition!

  7. Thanks a lot, Dave :O)

  8. Good stuff kahmeng! Keep it up!

  9. Thanks a lot, Yoong Nian! :O)

  10. Loved the photos, loved the composition, loved the angles. Have been to Penang twice, but only on cruise ship. Coming back again in June ’10 (not cruising), for a few days. Would love to photograph the fishing village near Georgetown but I think its hard to get permission. LOVE Penang!

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